Chef talks about his interest in food and what led him to become a chef. He also talks about his personal interest in food, his likes, his dislikes and his love for Bangalore.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Thiruthani.
It's been wonderful. I suppose you could say the town is medium-sized. It's completely safe to walk around the town with friends and hang out, I did my schooling and graduation in my town, and later moved to Chennai, Goa ,Agra, Miami and finally landed to Bangalore and now, here is where I am.
What led you to becoming a chef?
I love cooking for so many reasons that's it. It's sometimes difficult to dissect the whole beast and see it as the sum of its parts I'm not sure how to convey the love I have for the products I receive and seeing that they're used in a manner that fits something provided for us by the earth. There is for me, a soulful, quasi-religious connection to food, beyond the fact that it is nourishment and delicious. Just the fact that we eat to live makes me feel that my profession is my soul. Being in the culinary field is always changing and you can learn something new every day and food is changing constantly and you can be a part of it by creating new dishes and menus.
How long have you been a chef?
I have been as chef for 12 years.
What do you enjoy more? Cooking or creating?
I love creating because it's a creative process. It involves taking a bunch of random things, things that would be gross if not potentially poisonous on their own, and combining them in a way that results in something great.
But in the kitchen it's just good; there's no moral ambiguity. It's using your hands and creating something from nothing. It's taking flavored lassi and wonton pockets and making Pav Bhaji filling or homemade cottage cheese. It's adding a dash of vanilla or vinegar or whatever and affecting the way that something will taste. It's being in control.
Do you feel there is virtue in preserving the authenticity of cuisine?
Preserving traditional cuisines, ingredients, methods of preparation, and recipes isn’t just about “authenticity” which many people boil it down to. Ignoring the fact that there’s no real one true version of authentic. Within a region of culture, there are scores of ways to prepare a dish, each regionally authentic and with a rich history.
What dish do you like eating the most?
My favorite food is Fried Rice with Thai Vegetable and Chicken Curry with salad. This is my favorite food for many reasons: firstly it is very delicious and healthy. This menu meets the demand for different food values our body needs. It is available in most part of our country. Thirdly, I like it as it offers the variations of tastes. Moreover, it is not that expensive to prepare and does not require much effort to prepare. For all these reasons it is my favorite food.
What’s your least favorite dish?
Top of the list is pork. I can't eat it, even to be polite.
How long have you lived in Bangalore?
I have been living here for the past six years.
Do you like it here?
It is just plain awesome to live in the beautiful city of Bangalore, with a vibrant nightlife that blends in with a rich cultural heritage. From a long walk in hundreds of cafes, from trails of trees everywhere to the amazing weather, you can’t help falling in love with the city.